...The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

For Whom The Bell Tolls


For Whom the Bell Tolls is a 1943 film in Technicolor based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. It stars Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff and Katina Paxinou. This was Ingrid Bergman's first technicolor film. Hemingway handpicked Cooper and Bergman for their roles. The film was adapted for the screen by Dudley Nichols and was directed by Sam Wood. The film became the top box-office hit of 1943, grossing $11 million. It was also nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning one.



When Hemingway picked Cooper and Bergman for this 1943 film, he couldn't have done better. They're heavenly to look at, and the chemistry between them is palpable. The dialogue has retained the style of the book, and they make it so natural, which is not an easy feat. Set in 1937 Spain, this Civil War story is an action packed adventure, but above all, it's a love story.

Terrific cinematography by Ray Rennahan, a good atmospheric score by Victor Young, and a slew of interesting character actors (Katina Paxinou won the Oscar for best supporting actress) back the magnificent leads.
Cooper is not only gorgeous, but gives a subtle, lovely performance, and Bergaman, looking younger than her 29 years with her short, curly hair, is luminous...I love the scene where she gets her first kiss, and says "I always wondered where the noses went".

Directed by Sam Wood, who a year earlier had directed one of Cooper's most famous films, "The Pride of the Yankees" (and in '45, was to team again with Cooper and Bergman in "Saratoga Trunk"), did a wonderful job with Hemingway's novel...it stands up to many viewings, and is a must for Cooper and Bergman fans.


In Spain, loyalist soldiers teach target practice to women who are learning to defend the city of Barcelona against fascist rebel troops of general Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War, on June 2, 1937. (AP Photo) #

Three hundred fascist insurgents were killed in this explosion in Madrid, Spain, under the five-story Casa Blanca building, on March 19, 1938. Government loyalists tunneled 600 yards over a six-month period to lay the land mine that caused the explosion. (AP Photo) #

An insurgent fighter tosses a hand grenade over a barbed wire fence and into loyalist soldiers with machine guns blazing in Burgos, Spain, on Sept. 12, 1936. (AP Photo) #

German-made Stuka dive bombers, part of the Condor Legion, in flight above Spain on May 30, 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. The black-and-white "X" on the tail and wings is Saint Andrew's Cross, the insignia of Franco's Nationalist Air Force. The Condor Legion was composed of volunteers from the German Army and Air Force. (AP Photo) #

Scores of families are seen taking refuge underground on a Madrid subway platform, on Dec. 9, 1936, as bombs are dropped by Franco's rebel aircraft overhead. (AP Photo) #

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